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Laugh for the Health of it

Laughing reduces stress and has other health benefits that should encourage you to do it as much as possible.

Your blood is pumping, your face and stomach hurt; you’re crying and can’t be controlled.

You’re laughing hysterically—and improving your health.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it doesn’t matter what kind of laughter you’re participating in—chuckles or the doubled-over kind—it helps reduce stress and improve your health.

“When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body,” according to the Mayo Clinic’s website.

During a good laugh session your organs and circulation are stimulated by increased oxygen, endorphins are released, and you become relaxed mentally and physically. Over time your immune system improves, pain is decreased and, according to the Mayo Clinic, you may become better at coping with difficult situations with all that laughing.

I’m not a doctor, but I’d recommend laughing several times a day. I try to fit in at least five good giggles a day myself.

I’m not telling you anything new, right? We’ve all heard over and over that laughter is the best medicine (I promised myself I wouldn’t put that in this column). I’m just reminding you because in our fast-paced life, it’s easy to not take a break for laughing. Sometimes, you’ve got to be reminded to seek out your laughing triggers.

Friends are a huge contributor to laughter. Recently, two of my friends and I went to a concert and improved our health significantly with all our laughing that night.  Meet up with your funniest pals at a local restaurant, like , or . Take a group walk at Boyce Park or Riverside Park for an additional health boost.

Take in a funny movie at or rent a great comedy at a Redbox or Blockbuster Express kiosk. Pick up a book with a funny plot at or hit up for a game night.

You know what makes you laugh so do it as much as possible. It’s good for you!

Julie E. Martin June 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Erin - this is great advice : )

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